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A Facelift for the $20 Bill

When you get money from the bank or the ATM next month, you may notice a difference. On Oct. 9, the U.S. Treasury will roll out new $20 bills featuring new coloring and other background alterations designed to stymie counterfeiters.

As NPR's Jack Speer reports, the new $20 bills will still bear the familiar portrait of President Andrew Jackson, but a patina of blue and peach hues will surround his head. Along with security features found in the old bills, like color-shifting ink, a watermark and an embedded security thread, the new bills will also have the number 20 printed throughout the background.

The changes are part of the Treasury Department's ongoing battle against counterfeiters, who have benefited from the widespread availability of digital technology. To stay a step ahead, Treasury officials say they plan to redesign currency every seven to 10 years.

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Jack Speer
Jack Speer is a newscaster at NPR in Washington, DC. In this role he reports, writes, edits, and produces live hourly updates which air during NPR programming.